Thursday, August 18, 2011
August 18th – Proverbs 18: Vain Imaginations
“The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.” – Proverbs 18:11
In this Proverb we have two contrasting statements. The first is a declaration that the name of the Lord is a strong tower and the person that runs into it is safe:
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” – Proverbs 18:10
In this statement, there is no ambiguity, it’s simply the truth. The name of the Lord is the only REAL protection available in our world today. Many are looking all over for something or someone that they can put their trust in.
Some people trust in politicians. Just a few years ago, Barack Obama was hailed as the great Hope of America. Millions of Americans pinned their hopes for their personal and national prosperity and security on the ideas of a freshman senator from Illinois. In just a few short years, many of those millions have realized what the Bible has told us for thousands of years: the ONLY real hope and security available today is found in the name of the Lord!
Some people trust in riches. This is the reason for this Proverb. The writer declares to us:
“The wealth of the rich is their fortified city…” – Proverbs 18:11
Wow! So are we really to believe that wealth is a sure place of safety? If we were to stop there in the Proverb, that is what we might be led to believe. But when we keep reading, the reality sets in.
“they IMAGINE it an unscalable wall.” – Proverbs 18:11
In the IMAGINATION of the rich, wealth is an unscalable wall. In their minds, the rich believe that in their great wealth is salvation; that in their great wealth there is peace. An illusion forms and the urgency of seeking God personally starts to wane. If they get sick, they can afford the best doctor, why seek God for healing? If they have difficulty in their marriage, they can afford the best counseling, why go to Jesus? But this is a smokescreen, an illusion. In reality, wealth is like every other false hope or false promise.
Am I against great wealth? Absolutely not! You can do great good with great wealth. Somebody needs to make the money and it might as well be the righteous! But it’s when we try to make money or wealth something that it is not; a place of safety and security. Markets rise and fall, currencies crash and economies hit the skids. Believing that any piece of paper (or gold for that matter) can provide protection and security against the wiles of the enemy and this fallen world is a false hope.
HOPE in a man? I think not. SECURITY in paper or a rock? Ridiculous! The ONLY true source of safety and security for a believer is the name of the Lord.